Nine people are dead, several more are injured, and close to 200 have been arrested in a shooting involving five biker gangs at a Texas restaurant Sunday.
According to KXAN, between 165 and 175 people have been arrested in connection with a shooting that took place outside a Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco Sunday. The number arrested is down from the 192 reported earlier Monday on the Waco Police Department’s Facebook Page.
Eight people died on scene and another died while in the hospital, while 18 were injured. Most of the injured suffered stab wounds, gunshot wounds, or both. KWTX reports:
All arrested suspects have been charged with engaging in organized criminal activity, but some could face more charges as the investigation continues.
The nine bodies of gang members who died in the Sunday afternoon parking lot shootout at Waco’s Twin Peaks restaurant have been taken to various morgues for autopsy.
The restaurant and the surrounding area has been closed off for at least seven days under a Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission mandate. The investigation has included death threats against officers.
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“That’s a pretty severe charge — engaging in organized crime in reference to nine individuals killed. It doesn’t get much more significant than that,” said Waco Police Department spokesman Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton. “There may be warrants on individuals that may be attached to that as well, but that’s a pretty serious charge.”
They are threatening to kill uniformed officers, and we’re aware of that. We’re sharing the intelligence that we’re getting. We know that we had a heavy influx of biker members coming into our area yesterday. We believe that was in an attempt to come in.
They saw the show of force that we had here; they saw the large number of officers that we had here — not only at this location but scattered throughout Waco. We were prepared for a worst-case scenario if they tried to bring a fight to us.
According to The Blaze, Swanton said police were informed in advance that at least three rival gangs would be at the restaurant. 12 Waco officers and some state troopers were present when the fighting erupted.
About 50 weapons, including knives, brass knuckles, chains, and clubs, have been recovered from the scene. “These were bad-guy weapons. They ranged from brass knuckles to knives to chains to clubs and to firearms,” Swanton said. “This was a true gang fight.”
Twin Peaks operating partner Jay Patel wrote the following on the restaurant’s Facebook Page after the incident:
We are horrified by the criminal, violent acts that occurred outside of our Waco restaurant today. We share in the community’s trauma. Our priority is to provide a safe and enjoyable environment for our customers and employees, and we consider the police our partners in doing so.
Our management team has had ongoing and positive communications with the police, and we will continue to work with them as we all want to keep violent crime out of our businesses and community. We will continue to cooperate with the police as they investigate this terrible crime.
Swanton doesn’t agree with Patel’s assessment, however. “We feel like they could’ve done more. We feel like that they did not take our advice and try to keep the bike groups from being here,” Swanton said after the shooting. “They absolutely have a right to refuse service to people that may be a harm to their patrons and employees. They didn’t do that, and today is the ultimate aftermath of what their decision was,” he said.
The police spokesman stressed to KXAN the steps they took to try and prevent such a large act of violence:
Swanton says that the police department has had officers in plainclothes — in large numbers — at the restaurant for the past two months. He also said there have been several arrests stemming from incidents at Twin Peaks, most of them minor skirmishes, warrant arrests and arrests of that nature.
“As of about a week ago, we were in contact with the national management of Twin Peaks because we were getting no cooperation locally, and we were going to them for assistance,” said Swanton. “People have civil rights. Until a law is broken, there’s nothing we can do if we don’t have management to support — to assist us — in keeping individuals out of a business. There’s nothing we can do until a law is broken.”
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